Belgium: the Archbishop of Brussels reviews the legalisation of euthanasia

Publié le : 15 June 2012

In its edition of Wednesday 30 May 2012, the daily La Libre Belgique published an article by the Archbishop of Brussels, Monsignor André Leonard, reviewing "10 years of the application of euthanasia" in his country.
In his article, the Archbishop of Brussels first of all wished to "restate […] the sympathy that each of us feels for people who suffer intensely, worn down by disease and distressed by the prospect of an approaching death" and pointed out that "a request to die must most often be interpreted as an appeal for help" and not "necessarily be interpreted as the desire to die as such."
Monsignor André Leonard then paid "homage to the admirable and competent devotion of members of the medical personnel who, while avoiding any futile medical care, strive to reduce the pain and the suffering with much kindness, accompanying the patients and their families to the end.”
Lastly, referring to the report of the European Institute of Bioethics, the Archbishop of Brussels raised the question of whether it is "reasonable to envisage a new widening of the scope of the law, knowing that uncontrollable practices will then force the legislature to envisage new extensions?" On this subject, he pointed out that "the fears expressed 10 years ago have now become realities." In point of fact, "the Federal Control Commission is practically obliged to close its eyes to practices that infringe the law and also explicitly admits its powerlessness to effectively control its application." Monsignor André Leonard "points […] to the request made by the ADMD” (Association for the Right to Die with Dignity) and "taken up by two socialist MPs" which aims to "extend euthanasia to minors who request it.”

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